Extension Of Collective Agreements

The Labour Tribunal indicated that if minority workers represented in the workplace by the AMCU were successful and entered into a new collective agreement and reimbursed the existing collective agreement, minorities would be overwhelmingly governing in the workplace, which would be an undesirable outcome (Chamber of Mines/AMCU – others (J 99/14) [2014] ZALCHBJ 13 Par 44). Section 23 (1)d) also aims to prevent the proliferation of minority unions in a workplace that corresponds to the majority preference of the law. Although the law provides for the recognition and approval of minority unions, it is a reading of provisions such as Section 21, paragraph 8, point a), which encourages commissioners facing the representativeness of a union to seek a solution that minimizes the spread of unions in a single workplace. It also helps to minimize the financial and administrative burdens that must be made available to many unions in the workplace (SA Commercial Catering – Allied Workers Union/The Hub (1999) 20 ILJ 479 (CCMA) 481). Such an extension of the provisions of an agreement at the industrial level is subject to a number of conditions. Section 23 (1) (d) is a tiny arrangement with serious effects. Prior to the introduction of the LRA, there were legal loopholes and uncertainties about the binding effect of the collective agreement (Du Toit (ed) et al 311-312). Only the collective agreement concluded with the works councils had a binding effect and was considered a secondary character (« Collective Agreements: a Comparative Study between Belgium and South Africa » (1998) Unpublished LLM Doctoral Thesis (University of South Africa) 82). However, the labour courts have always expressed: That the will of the majority, if it is in the interest of both the majority union and the majority of the workers concerned, should be given priority over that of an individual (Ramolesane – another v Andres Mentis another (1991) 12 ILJ 329 (LAC) by 335H, see also Du Toit « A wind convention, which is the collective good? Collective representation in non-legal collective bargaining and the limits of union power (1994) 15 ILJ 39). The courts therefore supported the position that collective agreements negotiated by majority unions and in the interests of majority workers bound them and bound the minority regardless of the forum on which they were negotiated (ibid.).

The procedure by which the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment is empowered to apply the provisions of an industrial agreement in general to the whole industry.

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